Dr. Anjali Bajpai
Under-graduation: (Specialization in Microbiology)
Post-graduation: Pondicherry University (Specialization in
Doctoral Training: Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) Hyderabad (Supervisor: Dr. A. J. Rachel).
Post-Doctoral Training: Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT Kanpur) (Supervisor: Prof. Pradip Sinha)
Awards and Achievements:
Wellcome-DBT India Alliance Early Carrier fellow. For details, click here
The humble fruit fly never fails to evokean “Ahaa”moment –having surprises galore for us who never tire peering at it –bent over our microscopes. One of the aims of our lab is to use Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) to uncover fundamental principles that underlie the bases of carcinogenesis; and use this understanding to develop novel anti-cancer therapeutics. I, in particular am interested in understanding how developmental programs that have been fine-tuned over years of evolution, also end up dictating the “oncogenicity” of a cell, thus making it possible for us to almost predict the molecular events required to transform a particular normal cell type into a cancerous one. My investigations using the developing epithelial primordium such as the wing and the eye imaginal discs of the Drosophila larvae, displays how cell fate regulators, behave as selective oncogenic cooperators–promoting carcinogenesis in one developmental context, and inhibiting in another. Taking lead from our understanding of the tumor-inhibiting properties of wing cell fate selector, Vestigial (VGLL4 in humans), we have developed a novel peptide-based therapeutic, which we have tested in a fly model of intestinal cancer and in human cancer cell lines. Owing to the conserved nature of the genes and the overarching developmental principles, I continue to look for novel mechanisms of cancer inhibition in the fruit fly, and design fly-inspire anti-cancer therapeutic strategies, to be tested in higher organisms.